Nobel Prize winner joins Sony

13 December 2010

Professor Negishi
Professor Negishi

Sony Corporation has announced that Professor Ei-ichi Negishi, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University (USA) and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University Catalysis Research Centre, has accepted the appointment of Executive Research Advisor to Sony for research and development in the field of materials and devices, specifically in the area of organic electronics.

In this role, Professor Negishi will offer advice on the various areas of organic electronics research and development Sony is conducting at both internal and external research centres, by participating in research progress review meetings and through other opportunities.

Professor Negishi will also advise on Sony's medium and long-term research plans, and on methods for nurturing talented researchers.

Through the involvement of a renowned expert, Sony aims to stimulate its researchers in their organic electronics research and development, and accelerate their R&D processes as a result.

Negishi was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Akira Suzuki, Professor Emeritus at Hokkaido University and Richard F. Heck, Professor Emeritus at University of Delaware, for their research findings in 'palladium-catalysed cross couplings in organic synthesis', which is being used widely throughout the world as a technology that drastically accelerates organic synthesis reactivity, and that has contributed to the technological advancement of various industries, including pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals, plastics and liquid crystal.

Sony continues to achieve leading research results in the field of organic electronics based on organic chemistry and synthesis, which have contributed to the development of technologies such as organic transistors used in the rear substrates of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays and flexible OLED displays, dye-sensitised solar cells, electrolytes for next-generation rechargeable batteries, vegetable-based plastics, and recycled plastics.

The development of materials that deliver new functionality through organic synthesis is the key to differentiation in the field of organic electronics. Research into controlling the essentially limitless variations of chemical bonding between substances in order to achieve the desired functionality requires extensive specialist expertise, creativity, scientific flair, and the endurance of extremely long experiment periods. The opportunity to interact with Professor Negishi, a global authority on organic chemistry who brings experience and insights relating to research procedures, is certain to stimulate and inspire Sony's researchers as they engages in their own research and development of organic electronics. Sony expects his appointment to be a catalyst for further breakthroughs leading to the practical implementation of these technologies in new Sony products.

Born in 1935, Professor Ei-ichi Negishi joined Teijin, Ltd. after graduating from the University of Tokyo's Faculty of Engineering in 1958. He obtained a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963 and was a member of Professor H.C. Brown's (co-recipient of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) Research Laboratory at Purdue University (USA) from 1966 to 1972. Appointed Assistant Professor at Syracuse University (USA) in 1972, he was Professor at Purdue University from 1979. Negishi received the Chemical Society of Japan Award in 1997 and was named inaugural H.C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University in 1999 as well as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University Catalysis Research Center in October, 2010. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on 10 December 2010.

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